2021-VIL-651-ALH-CE

CENTRAL EXCISE High Court Cases

SVLDRS – Rejection of declaration filed by the petitioner on SVLDRS-1 under the provisions of the Sabka Vishwas (Legacy Dispute Resolution) Scheme, 2019 – revenue case that on the date 30.06.2019, the ‘tax dues’ against the petitioner were not ‘quantified’ as prior to that date no communication was issued by any Central Excise authority to the petitioner to communicate the 'quantified' amount of 'tax dues'/duty amount payable – HELD - Section 121(r) of the Scheme does not, in any manner suggest and it does not seek to limit the meaning of the phrase 'written communication' to be one written and issued by any Central Excise authority. Plainly, it refers to an amount of duty under any indirect tax enactment, reduced to writing. Once the amount was reduced to writing before the Central Excise authority in an “enquiry or investigation” as defined under Section 121(m) of the Scheme and the petitioner did not dispute the same, the requirement of Section 121(r) read with Section 125(1)(e) read with 123(c) stood fulfilled - the CBIC Circular No. 1071/4/2019-CX.8, dated 27.8.2019 has clarified the meaning to be given to the word 'quantified' used under the Scheme to include any duty liability admitted in writing by a person during an enquiry or investigation as a 'written communication' spoken of under Section 121(r) of the Scheme - Once the CBIC clarified and enlarged the meaning of the word ‘quantified’ to give effect to the purpose of Section 123(c) read with Section 125(1)(e) and Section 121(1)(r) of the Scheme to extend the benefit of the Scheme to more persons, there is neither any wisdom nor legal basis to curtail the same, contrary to the express intent of the CBIC – Bench cannot to accept the submission advanced by ld. counsel for the revenue that the Circular is contrary to the Scheme and therefore unenforceable – the CBIC Circular would bind the revenue authorities and they cannot deviate from the interpretation of the Scheme made by the CBIC - the reasoning given by the Designated Committee in the impugned order runs contrary to law - Designated Committee was obligated to deal with the declaration filed by the petitioner, on merits - the impugned order is set aside and petition is allowed by remand

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